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Searchers scour new area for clues in Jerika Binks’ disappearance

By Sean Moody, KSL TV | Posted - Nov 19th, 2018 @ 7:42am

AMERICAN FORK CANYON — Ten months after an American Fork woman vanished, searchers are still scouring the area.

Jerika Binks, 24, disappeared while running on Feb. 18. Investigators said she told roommates she was going for a run around 9 a.m.

A wildlife camera in American Fork Canyon captured images of Binks running along the Timpanogos Cave Trail.

There has been no sign of her since then. Searchers have scoured the area on the ground and searched from the air with drones for months.

On Sunday morning, volunteers gathered in the canyon for a new search.

“It’s searching the most difficult terrain, the areas that people haven’t looked yet because it’s just too hard to look,” said search organizer Johnny-Mack Barlow.

Barlow believes Binks could have been attacked by a cougar.

“All it would take is for you to twist your ankle and they smell your fear and that’s it,” he said.

Barlow and five other searches headed up Timpooneke Road to an area below a pinnacle where he believed there could be cougar dens to search.

“Most likely that cat’s sitting right there watching us right this second,” Barlow said as they began to head up the mountain.

Barlow and the searchers were not sure what they would find Sunday, if anything at all. Even if there is nothing there, they can mark another area searched.

“It’s about ruling out where she isn’t,” he said.

As they headed up steep terrain, pushing through thick brush, Barlow said it was all worth it if they can help Binks’ family.

“I just can’t look into the mother’s eyes without just sensing some of that pain that she must be going through,” he said. “You can’t stop looking for somebody. You can never stop looking for somebody."

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